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New crossword making software

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Hi all,

I'm working on building a new program for creating crossword puzzles.  I know there's a bunch of software out there for this already, but I haven't really been satisfied with the ones I tried and I thought I'd try making something new.  The goal is to be easy to use, with more intuitive productivity features, but still powerful enough for making serious top-caliber crosswords.

I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in trying out an early version of this software.  Feedback would be very helpful to me, especially from a group with so much puzzle-authoring experience.

Thanks in advance!
- Peter


Nice to know you are creating one. Who knows, it might be big.

I would like to try it out. If it is successful, I will try it out on my site. I currently use Eclipse Crossword and Hot Potato. I am will to try it.

Contact me if you are interested.

Mel Rosen:
Peter, It would be helpful if you would specify which computer platform you were shooting for ... PC / Mac / Windows / Linux ... etc ...

Also, if you would be very specific about which features are missing from the programs you've tried, perhaps the authors of those programs would consider modifications.


Hi Mel,

This program, Crossword Studio, supports both Mac and Windows.

Missing features aren't really what led me to create this software.  Other crossword programs have lots of features, but the sheer number of features isn't always what counts the most.  As someone who does a lot of work professionally in user interface design -- that is, making software easier to use or more intuitive -- I'm acutely aware of those subtle quirks and snags that can make software less helpful or more frustrating than it should be.

It can be hard to overhaul the usability of existing software, especially if the technology it's built on isn't conducive to it.  The best option seemed to be trying my hand at making something better.  And that brings us to today: this "beta" of Crossword Studio doesn't have the whole laundry list of features that some of the other software boasts -- yet -- but I hope it will be one of the easiest to learn and most pleasing to use.

That's not to say Crossword Studio is currently just a toy.  The version I'm soliciting feedback on lets you print and export puzzles, "auto fill" sections of the grid, save clues, organize theme words, etc.  But there's certainly more in store.

So, that's a longer-winded explanation.  Making software that is truly easy to use requires good feedback, and that's where I'm asking all of you for help.  If anyone can spare a bit of time to try out Crossword Studio, you may wind up helping to build your new favorite crossword-authoring tool! ;)

- Peter

Peter, I'd like to give it a try.  I'm on a Windows XP machine.

Lyell Rodieck


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